‘Much worse before it gets better’: Why there’s no quick fix to Canada’s housing supply woes
There’s a growing consensus that a lack of supply is the prime culprit behind Canada’s housing affordability woes. But if housing start data from 2022 is any indication, doing something about it is going to be a challenge.
Figures released Jan. 17 by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) showed urban housing starts actually declined year-over-year in 2022, falling a little over one per cent to 240,590 units.
Though the CMHC noted starts remained at an elevated level as compared to recent years, they are a far cry from the levels needed to even put a dent in the shortage the national housing agency identified in June, when it found 3.5 million additional new housing units would be needed by 2030 to improve affordability. That would equate to more than a doubling of the current pace. Even the more modest increases of 30 to 50 per cent that the CMHC later found the labour force could support in a best-case scenario in some provinces seems a long way off.
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